Technology and innovative ideas are key goals to promote farm safety this year.
A total of 68 on-farm deaths over 12 months were recorded in 2017, five fatalities higher than the previous year, according to the Australian Farm Deaths and Injuries Media Monitors Snapshot.
Nine of the 68 deaths involved a child aged under 15 years. There were 13 on-farm deaths caused by tractors and 11 on-farm deaths as a result of quad bikes.
An additional 179 non-fatal on-farm injuries recorded in 2017.
This year’s Farm Safety Week in July will focus on innovative ideas and practices to promote a safety culture on Australian farms.
The campaign hopes to raise awareness of farm safety issues in rural communities across the nation.
This year’s theme is ‘Innovative, Safe and Healthy’, which will focus on innovative ideas around farm safety.
Farm Safe Australia chairman Charles Armstrong said farm safety is something we often take for granted, but no one wants to be injured to see others injured.
“In a time of technological transformation in workplaces, farming too is undergoing a period of exciting technological change as we move into the digital landscape,” he said.
“With this comes a remarkable opportunity for innovative solutions and ideas around farm safety.”
Mr Armstrong said with digitalised safety induction using QR codes, to design improvements that make farm vehicles safer to operate, the possibilities were endless.
“Innovation can complement practical steps for farm safety. When you are out on the farm, it is important to let people know where you are going and what time you expect to be back so that someone can come looking for you if you are injured,” he said.
“Devices that automate safety alerts when something goes wrong, such as a quad rollover, can be the difference between help arriving on time or too late.”